Commons debates Private Members’ Bills

08 February 2010

The Commons debated several Private Members' Bills, starting with the second reading of the Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill, sponsored by David Chaytor MP.

Local government overview and scrutiny

The Bill aims to strengthen and broaden the powers of local government overview and scrutiny committees.

Key areas:

  • gives scrutiny committees powers over a wider range of external bodies than at present
  • provides for these powers to be used in scrutiny of activities carried out by these external bodies that relate to matters of local concern in the provision of public services
  • makes provision for executive council members to be able to sit on scrutiny committees when they are concerned with scrutiny of external bodies
  • makes provision to ensure that scrutiny officers are allocated such resources as they believe they require to carry out their role effectively

The Bill passed its second reading and now moves to a public bill committee.

Anti-Slavery Day

MPs also debated the second reading of the Anti-Slavery Day Bill, sponsored by Anthony Steen MP.

The Bill would require the Government to introduce an annual Anti-Slavery Day, the purpose of which would be to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

The Bill passed all its stages and now moves to the House of Lords.

Asbestos-related damages

The third bill - sponsored by Andrew Dismore MP - would treat certain asbestos-related conditions as actionable personal injuries.

Those suffering from asbestos-related pleural plaques or asbestosis would be able to claim damages against the person causing them. The provisions would not affect the legislation determining liability for personal injury.

The is the second time this Bill has been debated in the Commons. Mr Dismore saw it through all its stages last year, but there was not enough time for it to go through the Lords before the parliamentary session ended last November.

On this occasion the Bill passed all its Commons stages. At the same time It was also debated in the Lords where it passed its second reading and was sent to Committee.

Other Bills

The second reading of the Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau Bill was adjourned and will be resumed on Friday 26 February.

The Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill [ Lords] was rejected.

The Marriage (Wales) Bill [ Lords] passed its second reading without debate and moves to a public bill committee.

Private members bills

Private Members' Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Members of the Lords who aren't government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population.

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